The Payment Exception Service is for benefit claimants who do not have access to a bank or building society account (including credit union or Post Office card account).
It is a simplified system that allows you to collect your benefits or pension payments from authorised PayPoint outlets located across the United Kingdom.
Even so, people who are claiming welfare support can only use this kind of simple payment service in limited circumstances. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) no longer pay benefits by cheque.
Note: The Payment Exception Service has replaced the Simple Payment scheme since 2018. You should contact the office that pays your benefit if you did not receive a letter explaining how to move to the new service.
Collecting Money through Payment Exception Service
In most cases, you will receive a payment card. The card will allow you to collect your money through the Payment Exception Service. You can search online to find your local PayPoint store and their extended opening hours.
What if you do not receive a simple payment card? Claimants who do not get a card will usually receive (either):
- A voucher (sent by email)
- A text message (containing a unique reference number)
You will need to show your card, voucher, or text message when you collect your payment at a PayPoint outlet (e.g. located at convenience stores, supermarkets, and newsagents).
Payment Exception Service Collection Limits
Each payment collection that you make has an upper limit of £100. So, you may need to make several collections to get the full amount of benefits, allowances, or tax credits that you have entitlement to.
How to Prove Your Identity
There are several ways of proving your identity when claiming benefits. But, the document you use must be the original (i.e. it cannot be a photocopy).
In most cases, you will be able to use your (any):
- Council tax bill
- Current passport
- Current utility bill (e.g. gas, electricity, water) or landline phone bill (must be less than three months old)
- Tenancy agreement
- Valid UK photo or paper driving licence
Note: The simple payment card does not contain any personal details about you or have financial value.
If You Want Someone Else to Collect Your Money
Another person can collect money through the Payment Exception Service on your behalf. In this case, the person who collects the money would need:
- A document that proves their identity
- Your simple payment card (or voucher)
- Your proof of identity
If someone cannot manage their own affairs
You can apply to become an appointee for someone claiming benefits (e.g. such as if they are unable to manage their own affairs).
As a result, you will receive your own payment card to use on behalf of the claimant. Furthermore, you would also have the responsibility of reporting any change in circumstances.
How to Replace a Payment Exception Card
The office that pays your benefit or pension can get you a replacement card (e.g. if you lose it or it gets damaged). They will block the previous card and then send you a new one.
To make sure you do not miss out on any payments, they will also send you a voucher – either by email or by text message to your phone.
You may be able to get a reference number by telephone in an emergency. This means you would get immediate access to your payment. The office that pays your benefit or pension can provide further help and advice.